If you run a small business you know that your role entails a lot more than just overseeing things. You have to wear a lot of hats, and there's a chance invoice processing is one of them.
Let’s set the scene…
You’ve read the beginners guide to invoicing and you’re considering starting to issue business invoices to your customers. But is there an easier way to accept remote payments? Will you need an invoice system? Is it just another layer of paperwork?
There are multiple questions you’re probably asking yourself at the moment. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled some of the answers.
In this article we’ll walk you through some of the benefits invoice processing can have on a business such as your own.
Not the most exciting of topics, we know, but important nonetheless. Sure, the purpose of an invoice is to give your customers a more convenient, remote way of paying you, and of course to help you keep track of your sales, but it’s also there for legal reasons.
While we hope this never happens, there may be occasions when a customer doesn’t pay you despite multiple reminders. An invoice acts as legal proof that you carried out an agreed service for someone, and can, therefore, be used if you need to take anything further.
Initially, you may not think that issuing a business invoice falls under good customer service, but it really does. First things first, offering invoice payments enables your customers to pay you after you’ve issued a product or service.
Not only is this convenient, but it also makes things easier for regular and returning customers. Giving them the option to pay you when it suits them (of course within a designated time frame) is a great way to keep customers happy.
Secondly, it’s important to bear in mind that invoice processing isn’t just crucial for you, a business owner. Customers need to keep track of their finances too. And having an invoice from a business with a detailed breakdown of what was purchased, when it was purchased and if there are late fees can prove to be very helpful.
It’s also a sure and certain way for a customer to see if they’re being overcharged and to keep everything on file.
Want to get paid remotely? Create and send professional invoices in under a minute from the SumUp App.Find out more
A professional invoice has more of an impact on customer experience then you realise. When you issue a customer an invoice, you’re showing them that your small business is a well-oiled machine with processes. Believe it or not, it shows that they can trust you.
A professional invoice, containing all the necessary information and on a well-designed template, will also help you to stand out from potential competitors. This is something many business owners may forget, but like any other form of communication, an invoice is a touchpoint with a customer and yet another opportunity for you to offer a top-notch experience. Their customer journey with you should be flawless from start to finish.
As mentioned, an invoice is another touchpoint with a customer worth taking advantage of. And with that, comes branding. Your brand should be fluid throughout all your communication and an invoice is yet another space where design and even tone of voice come into play.
Make sure you’re using a template people will want to look at. Think about things like:
What the layout should look like
What typography you use
Having your logo on there
This probably goes without saying and doesn’t need much diving into, but keeping an organised record of the invoices you send out is key. It’ll help you keep an eye on pending and already done payments so you know where you stand financially.
There are a few reasons invoices help a business to get paid faster. A professionally written invoice will contain the following information:
An invoice number and date of issue
Your company name and address
Your company contact details
Details of the product or service
The amount due
Payment information including how to pay
An overdue fee
With all of this information, a customer has everything they need to know how to pay you. A due date will help to apply some pressure if needed and if you choose to add an overdue fee to your business invoice, this may help even more.
You’ll often find that a customer may have a query, and by having all of your contact information readily available, paired with a detailed overview of the products or service they are to due to pay, you’re helping them and you.
Finally, if you choose to use an online invoicing solution or an automated invoice processing system, you’ll be able to issue payment reminders at the push of a button. This can, of course, also be done manually, but then becomes a bit of a chore.
Luckily companies have recognised the importance of automated invoice processing and as a result, we’ve seen a rise in online and in-app invoicing solutions. This means that business owners can now send an invoice to a customer in seconds.
Invoicing solutions can help you to create simple and error-free invoices fast. What’s better is with automation, all you have to do most of the time is create a template and then reuse it and simply alter the payment amount that’s due. All from your phone or laptop.
This can also be a far easier way to store and keep track of your invoices without the need for masses of paperwork and filing cabinets. If you’re looking for a simple solution, our team have tailored SumUp Invoices to be simple, efficient and fast.
Are you a small business looking for tips and tricks on how to make the day-to-day a bit easier? We’re here to help. For more articles, check out the SumUp Blog.